Bhutto’s controversial widower is next Pakistan president
Pakistan’s parliament and four provincial assemblies Saturday, Sept 6, elected Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party and widower of the slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, president to fill the post vacated by Pervez Musharraf Aug. 18.
debkafile adds: To win Washington’s support, the unpopular Zardari pledged an all-out battle against insurgents and al Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan. While empowered as president to sack parliament and fire the prime minister and head of the army, he will need their cooperation to curb Taliban’s spreading control of the country, tame soaring food and fuel prices and sort out political turmoil.
As the deputies voted, a car bomb blew up at a checkpost in northwestern Peshawar, killing 16 people and injuring ate least forty.
Questions persist about the mental health of the leader whose finger will be on the nuclear button.
The reinstatement Friday of three supreme court judges ousted by Musharraf poses another headache for Zardari, opening the door to reviving long-standing charges of corruption and murder against him.